Being a missionary is not as simple as I thought it was. I came to Equip in New York City right after a transformative four years in college. As a freshman, I entered a huge public university without a care for anything spiritual. That changed quickly, and I finished my last two years of school doing more ministry than studying. Life moved a million miles per hour in college, and I loved it. Ministry was exciting!
People gave their lives to Christ and learned what it meant to follow him, and I got to play a part in it! When I came to New York City last July, I entered the real world of life as a missionary. That past six months have once again transformed my life, but in a totally different way than I was expecting.
I have learned that being a missionary means living a life of perseverance. The crazy thing: I know I barely got my toes wet. What happens when I pray and he does not answer, at least not in the way that I thought he would, again, and again, and again? What happens when I share Jesus for what seems like the 10,000th time, and it feels like I do not have much to show for it? Who am I then?
In college, it was easy for me to say “I will follow God for God.” It was easy to tell others we need to pursue genuine motives for everything we do and to convince myself that my motives were always genuine. That has made me think a lot here.
The question of “why?”
The question God brings me to, again and again, is why? Why do I do anything I do? What are my motives? In New York, I cannot just give the right answers — I have to live it today, tomorrow, and every day. I pray that one day, after a lifetime of ministry, I can say the Psalmist’s words, “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you,” and mean it. I pray that I can continue to learn to let God fulfill me instead of what I can accomplish.
I am learning that is the power of perseverance. To live a life reflecting that no matter what circumstances arise, God’s steadfast love is better than life. This lesson about being a missionary that I’m just beginning to learn will last more than just the year here in Equip — it will last a lifetime.